by Jules Plumadore, PEERS Community Engagement and Development Director

Last Friday, I took a walk around my neighborhood before starting my work-from-home shift, the “new normal” for all of us here at PEERS. While carefully maintaining distance from other neighbors who were out walking too, I tried to stock up on enough fresh air and sunshine to get me through another day of sheltering in place.

It was a beautiful spring morning. With less commute traffic noise, I was able to hear the birds singing all around me. Flowers were in full bloom, and I even stopped to sniff some lilacs along the way.

As I walked, I noticed flyers posted on telephone poles; there were just one or two at first, but then I started to see them on every block. There were many different ones, but they all had the same theme: support.

“If you need someone to pick up supplies for you, or if you just need a neighbor to check in on you by phone or text, give me a call!”

“Do you need help? Can you help a neighbor? The Neighborhood Community Emergency Response Team is matching volunteers with people needing help.”

The more I looked around me, the more evidence I saw of the positive ways people are responding to this crisis. I felt encouraged to see reminders that all the new words we’ve all added to our vocabulary lately – words like social distance, shelter in place, quarantine, and self-isolation – don’t need to translate into loneliness.

We’re living through unprecedented times. The last week has been particularly challenging for many of us who are having to figure out how to communicate with our communities in new ways. But there has never been a more important time to reach out and find connection.

At PEERS, we’re rising to the challenge of supporting our community. Starting this week, in addition to our new remote groups and wellness check-ins, you’ll see us increase our online presence to bring you even more support.

Here are some of the things you can expect from us each week on this blog and our social media profiles:

  • Regular wellness posts from our Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) team
  • PEP Talks (Peers Encouraging Peers) – short inspirational videos from our Lift Every Voice and Speak (LEVS) speakers
  • Quotes to motivate and inspire you
  • Fitness Fridays – links to videos you can use to support physical wellness at home for every level of ability and fitness
  • Stories of resilience and hope from our staff and community members

All of us at PEERS are figuring things out one day at a time, just like you are. But no matter what else may have changed in our day-to-day lives, our community’s wellness is still our top priority.

Check back here every day this week for more wellness news from PEERS. We’ll be here for you.